In 17th-century France, Father Urbain Grandier seeks to protect the city of Loudun from the corrupt establishment of Cardinal Richelieu. Hysteria occurs within the city when he is accused of witchcraft by a sexually repressed nun.
Nora Walker is told that her British fighter pilot husband is missing in action and presumed killed in World War II. On V.E. Day, Nora gives birth to their son, who she names Tommy. While Tommy is an adolescent, Nora marries Frank, a shifty camp counselor. Shortly thereafter, Tommy suffers an emotionally traumatic experience associated with his father and step-father, which, based on things told to him at that time, results in him becoming deaf, dumb and blind, a situation which several people exploit for their own pleasure. As Nora tries several things to bring Tommy out of his psychosomatic disabilities, Tommy, now a young man, happens upon pinball as a stimulus. Playing by intuition, Tommy becomes a pinball master, which in turn makes him, and by association Nora and Frank, rich and famous. Nora literally shatters Tommy to his awakening, which ultimately leads to both the family's rise and downfall as people initially try to emulate Tommy's path then rebel against it.Written by
Ann-Margret largely improvised the infamous bean scene. Director Ken Russell simply told her that her character was having a nervous breakdown, and that she could do whatever she wanted. Unfortunately, at one point during filming, her hand accidentally struck the broken glass of the television screen and Russell had to rush her to the hospital for stitches. See more »
During the climactic "Listening to You" where Roger (Tommy) is running and crawling through water (clearly soaked), the camera shot changes to meet Tommy as he emerges over the top of the mountain, completely dry. See more »
Outside the house Mr. Simpson announced that Sally couldn't go to the meeting. He went on cleaning his black Rolls Royce and she ran inside weeping.
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Tommy (1975) was the film adaptation of the Who's classic concept album Tommy. The film and the album are slightly different (the re-recorded songs pale to the real deal). But it was interesting to see avant-garde film maker Ken Russell re-imagine Tommy for the big screen. The movie has an all-star cast of eccentric and top stars (Oliver Reed, Ann-Margaret, Jack Nicholson) and pop stars (Tina Turner, Roger Daltry, Keith Moon, Eric Clapton, Elton John and The Who themselves, as a group on stage).
The music was changed and performed for the movie. Most of the dialog was sung (by all of the actors) and Ken Russell changed some of the story to fit the movie. If you're a fan of the album you might be disappointed by the movie. But it's worth a watch just to see Oliver Reed, Ann-Margaret (in total HOT mode) and the others as they make cameo appearances and guest spots. I was slight disappointed but I was pleased with the results. I just wished they used the original music whenever they could.
Recommended for Who and Ken Russell fans.
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